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The Darkling Plain - Episode
By the time it got dark, Spike was pacing the living room in fury. He kept glancing out at the snow and then, when he could stand it no longer, said in despair, 'I'm going out to look for….'
At that minute, they heard the sound of giggling and some hushing from outside. Wesley and Angel fell in through the door. Angel straightened and hiccupped. 'Good evening.'
Spike pursed his lips, narrowing his eyes. 'You're drunk.'
Wesley shook his head. 'You are very mistaken. We needed medicine. Too much skiing and then pain for Angel. We stopped off. Rather good tavern. Cordelia! Fred!'
Angel followed his gaze over to the couches and said in a slightly different tone. 'Sam…. Jordan….'
Sam twitched an eyebrow without looking up and continued painting Droc's claws with glittery, pink polish.
There was a slightly embarrassed silence for a moment, until Spike sighed and went over to Angel, helping him with his jacket. Under his breath, he said, 'Hot tub? For the… aches and pains?'
Angel hiccupped again and gave him an unfocused smile. Deliberately not looking at anyone, Spike led Angel up to their room and sat him on the bed, pulling off his boots.
'Did you ski all day, Angel?'
'Uh huh. With broken ribs?'
'Don't… fuss. I'm okay.'
'Can I have that in writing for the morning?'
He lay Angel back on the bed and went to the closet to fetch the packet of painkillers. He eyed it with disbelief, half now being gone. When he turned back to the bed to berate Angel for his stupidity, the exhausted human was already asleep.
Spike tucked him into the bed and left some of the remaining pills on the nightstand with some water. He stripped off and went by himself to the tub. It felt good: the warmth easing into his dead flesh, reanimating his cold heart.
He stared out at the mountains. He hated them now. They'd had Angel all day. Angel didn't have that many days left, and now he'd spent a whole one away from him again. Another fifty years - eighteen thousand days - left together. Time ticked away in his head like the fragile beat of a heart. He felt light-headed, which was a profoundly worrying sensation for a creature with no pulse.
He climbed out and stood for a while, steaming in the freezing night air, leaning on the rail of the deck, staring at the snow.
By the time he'd started to shiver, he'd decided.
He pulled on his jeans and went noiselessly across the bedroom, glancing at the almost unconscious figure in the bed. He crept out onto the gallery and leant over. Jordan was sitting on one of the couches with the dog on his lap, staring thoughtfully into the fire. No one else was up.
Refusing to think about anything at all, Spike padded softly along the gallery, keeping close to the wall. He slipped silently into another bedroom
He could see a figure in the bed.
He stayed in the doorway, waiting.
A corner of the blanket was pulled back.
Spike strode across the room and into a pair of arms that wanted him so much they almost crushed his unique life out of him.
They rolled and kissed and felt each other's urgency, until with a gasp, Sam pulled away. 'You're like ice!'
Spike tore back into his mouth, wrapping Sam's arms around him. 'Warm me up then.'
Sam rolled on top of him, but before he could recapture the cold lips, Spike whispered, 'Why did you say we couldn't do this any more?'
Sam glanced away for a moment. 'I thought that it would help you both, Baby.' He blinked for a moment, then added softly, 'I'm beginning to wonder if anything will.'
Spike swallowed rapidly, and Sam hugged him close. 'I'm sorry. Talk to me?'
Spike rolled them once more, lying heavy and solid on Sam's warmth. Then he let his body speak his pain for him.
When they were done, when their orgasms had ripped through them and left them panting, entangled, sweaty; when the bed was wet with their release; when their bodies were sated, Spike lifted his head and realised that, for the first time, what they had just done did take from Angel- it took from him a great deal. He brushed a stray lock of hair from Sam's forehead and did not wish it to be Angel's. He felt Sam's arms tighten around his waist, and did not want Angel's there instead. He put his head down onto Sam's chest and closed his eyes, listening to the intense thump, thump of this human heart and felt no great desire to be anywhere else.
Suddenly, before he could shrivel and hide from embarrassment, Spike began to cry. He cried in huge, frightening sobs- the kind best hidden under streaming water, or buried deep into a pillow. He tried to hide; he turned onto his belly and covered his head with a pillow, as if this could somehow mitigate such an unmanning. Silently, Sam levered himself up and lay on Spike, helping him to bury deep into the mattress, covering the pain-wracked body with his silent, accepting, non-judgemental presence.
It seemed to take forever, but eventually, the worst of the storm passed, leaving them both drained, strung out, and shaky.
Sam ran his fingers through Spike's hair, combing it the wrong way, twisting it up into damp, sticky spikes. 'You HAVE to talk to him.'
Spike lifted his head from the mattress. His face was drawn, tear-streaked; his blue eyes dark and dangerous-looking. He glanced theatrically around the room and croaked in a voice strained from crying, 'He's not here.'
Sam kissed him softly. 'Okay then. Last chance cafe.'
'Your Christmas present, my sad little vampire- we're gonna give it to you early.'
Spike put his head down again, as if the effort of holding it up was just too much. 'And that's relevant…?'
'Go to sleep, Demon. Don't fret it. Tomorrow.'
Angel woke with the sense of having enjoyed a wonderful, deep sleep. He turned over in the bed then opened his eyes wide and tried to sit up. Everything hurt. He'd never felt pain like it. What had been only in his bruised ribs was now in his entire body. Even his toes hurt. He groaned and lay back very, very slowly. Suddenly, he noticed the figure sitting casually in the armchair and moaned, whispering self-pityingly, 'Ow.'
When he got no response, he frowned. The blond head was lowered over something.
Angel coughed, sadly. 'What's that?'
There was a small pout. 'An early Christmas present.'
A small flask of pure liquid was held up and swirled around slightly in the light. 'It's a truth drug.'
'A what and a why?'
'If I take it, I have to tell the truth- for as long as its effects last. And then I won't remember anything about it.'
'What? And… IF you take it?' Angel watched the blond head lift slowly.
'Do you think I should?'
Angel didn't hesitate. 'No! Spike! Duh!'
'Because… you don't want to hear the truth?'
'No! If you've got something to say, Spike, just say it. We don't need that shit.'
'But that's the point, Angel. I'm not sure whether I've something to say or not. Oh, fuck it.' He tipped up the vial and drank the liquid.
Angel wrenched to sitting and limped over, ignoring the pain in his body. He wrenched the flask away. 'Who gave you this crap?'
'Fucking hell! He freaking hates me, Spike. This could be anything! Why did you trust him?'
'He doesn't hate you, Angel. He doesn't hate you at all. He doesn't get you- there's a big difference.'
'He wants you, and he wants me out of the way to get you.'
There was some soft laugher. 'That's not true either. That's so far from the truth…. If that was the case, Angel, he could have killed you any minute of any day - vampire or human - and you've never have seen him coming. Huh, I wonder if this is working? Must be.'
Angel sat nervously on the end of the bed. 'Why did you drink it? You are so… childish sometimes.'
'Uh huh. Childish. Childish. Yes, I can see that. I've given into everything you've asked, Angel. I've let you live your new human life, and I've not asked for one concession in return.'
'See! That's just that fucking stuff talking! It's not a truth thingy; it's a "let's shaft Angel" drug!'
'I don't know. Maybe. Might be one and the same thing.'
'And I've not done lots of things I'd like to do because of you!'
'You make me feel dirty.'
'You put my food away from yours. How do you think that made me feel?'
'I- I just….'
'What? What, Angel? Just what?'
'I don't know. I just didn't want to be reminded, I guess.'
'Reminded of what you were, or what I am?'
'Both. Neither. Look, I'm not staying here to be….'
'Yes. Yes, you are.' Angel was prevented from leaving by a smaller body he knew he could not fight. 'See…. We're not working, Angel.'
'Spike. You have to shut up now. If you….'
'I didn't want to come here, but you wouldn't….'
'No! You said you would! You said I could have this!'
'Is that what you really heard, Angel? You don't really hear me these days. I say things to please you, but I don't mean them. Why didn't you both go somewhere together? Celebrate this bloody time on your own where you'd be forced to remember that your lover is a fucking DEMON!'
'What? I just wanted….'
'YOU wanted, Angel. It's always you. What about me?'
'I'm the one who got fucking turned into a freaking human! I didn't ask for this!'
'No, WE got turned human- the part of us that's we. Don't you get it? We were… bound… together. And now we're not!'
'You're being histrionic, as usual.'
'What concessions have you made for me, Angel? Where have you tried to fit me into your new life?'
'I took down the mirrors…?'
'Do you love me?'
'Don't be ridiculous. You know I do.'
'NO! That's exactly it! I don't know!'
'Spike! I love you! How many times do you want me to say it?'
'I need for you to show me.'
'I thought I did- in that fucking thing for a start!' Angel turned angrily and pointed at the hot tub as if it offended him.
'Jesus! Not with sex, Angel! I can get that anytime I want from other people.'
Angel whirled around. 'Shut up! Shut up!'
'Ah, so you do care…. Huh. So, where did I spend the night…?'
'Here…?' Angel looked at the bed, puzzled, and increasingly worried.
'You don't know, do you?'
Angel looked down. 'No….'
Angel pouted. 'I think… maybe…. Yeah.'
'Will you know tonight?'
Suddenly, Angel strode over and pulled the tense figure away from the door. He thrust him onto the bed and stood over him. 'Yes, damn it. I will.'
'But what does it matter? I'll still have my fun while you're out enjoying your human sunshine.'
'You were fucking Sam while I was out yesterday?'
'I don't know…. Was I?'
'How do I freaking know? I wasn't…. I wasn't here.'
Angel suddenly sat down on the edge of the bed. He took the pained face into his hands and stroked it thoughtfully. 'Why didn't you tell me any of this before? Did you really need a truth drug to talk to me now?'
'Angel… Angel…. You don't hear me anymore.'
'I'm hearing you clearly enough now.'
There was a small smile. 'Yeah. I think you are.'
'We promised we'd talk about everything.'
'Why did we stop talking?'
'It's hard to talk to someone who's not there.'
Angel suddenly took a deep breath. 'Let's go back to L.A.- now.'
'No. Leaving places isn't the answer, Angel. You need to find… I mean, we need to find what we need to find right here- wherever we are. We need to carry US around with us. Do you get that?'
'Spike… where did you spend the night?'
'Do you care?'
'Yes. I do. I care a lot.'
'Yeah, join the fucking club.'
'Nothing, Babe.' The slim figure rose. 'Remember, Angel, I won't remember any of this when it wears off, so don't ask.' He plucked the empty flask off the table as he passed and went toward the door.
'Spike! What now?'
There was a pause and then a closed-off face turned to him. 'That's kinda up to you.'
Totally bemused, Angel watched the figure slip out of the door. He even shook himself, just to see if it was a dream.
Jordan got outside and let out a deep breath of tension, and then shook himself too- back into his normal look. As he passed Sam's door, he trailed his fingers lightly over the wood, then went to the bathroom to return the small flask of water.
Sam turned over and extricated himself from the sleeping vampire and shook him lightly. 'Spike. Go home.'
Spike sat up and ran his fingers through his hair. He pouted with a slight chin wobble. 'I don't want to.'
'Maybe not. But I'm thinking Angel's gonna be in some considerable pain now.'
'Oh, yeah. Too much bloody skiing.'
'Yeah, Babe, that's exactly the pain I mean. Now, go.'
Spike reluctantly pulled on his jeans and gave Sam a long look.
The human smiled. 'It's Christmas Eve- cheer up.'
'Tomorrow, you'll all be saved.'
Sam chuckled. 'Not me. I'm going where you're going.'
Spike smiled and ran his fingers down the man's cheek then went very reluctantly back to his own room.
Angel was in the hot tub, soaking in the sunshine when Spike entered. With a sigh, he stripped off his jeans and went into the shower.
Within a few moments, he felt a pair of strong arms encircle his waist, and Angel's mouth pressed softly into his ear. 'Has it worn off?'
'Huh? What?' Anxiously, Spike mentally checked his body to see if there was any evidence of his activities of the previous night.
'Okay. So. Now we begin again.'
'Angel, have you overdone those fucking pills again?'
'I don't know. Anything is possible. Kiss me.'
Spike shook his head in amusement and let Angel find his lips. They kissed in a desultory way for a moment, but then Angel grasped him around the tops of the arms and pulled him out of the water, flattening him against the wet tiles. His mouth began to possess Spike's: seeking him out, taking what it wanted from the cool cavern it explored.
Spike's body reacted urgently to Angel's desire, swelling and reaching out for him. Angel's hands slipped down, and Spike moaned when the strong fingers began to stroke up and down his hardening shaft. Suddenly, the hands plunged around to his buttocks and parted them wildly, massaging the hard flesh, sending tantalising frissons of pleasure through Spike's arsehole. He murmured his appreciation into the kiss, and then Angel's fingers were in him: pressing, pulling out, playing, and wetly teasing the sensitive place. Spike gasped and pulled away from Angel's mouth, leaning back slightly, letting Angel's encircling arms hold him.
With a grin, Angel dipped his head and fastened onto Spike's vertical, hard shaft.
Spike's feet slipped out from under him. They crashed to the floor. Spike expected Angel to howl in pain as his elbows connected with the tiles, but there was silence, except for a deep groan of pain-filled need as Angel rammed into the supine body.
Spike arched, then immediately crunched up, lifting his legs and putting them on Angel's shoulders.
Angel sat back a little, rested his flat palms on Spike's belly and murmured, 'I'm gonna fuck you like an animal.'
The memories Angel's words aroused stabbed into Spike's brain. Almost incoherently, he cried, 'Inside- feel me.' Sharing the powerful memories, Angel took Spike with all the force and passion he could muster in his human body. He slammed so hard into Spike's rectum that they slid across the wet floor. He kept at it until they were hard against the wall, Spike's hands spread, his arms braced, muscles swelling to keep them still. Then the assault increased. Angel didn't even hear his heavy panting, or their shared groaning and cursing. He only heard Spike's words echoing in his mind: Where did I spend the night? Where did I spend the night? Where did I spend the night? He thumped in on this distressing echo, trying to drive it from his mind. He felt he'd never come so close to losing what he wanted more than his own humanity. As he felt his orgasm cresting close, draining rational thought from his mind, he forced out, in a staccato hiss, 'Turn me back…. You HAVE to turn me back…. Please….'
He ejaculated on that final heart-wrenching plea, strong shots of sperm, propelled high into Spike's body as if they would bring forth his own living death from their life force.
He twisted and turned his body, grinding the fluid out, wanting it to bind them.
When he was done, he hung his head and finished in a choking sob, 'Take me, Spike. Please.'
Spike pulled up to sitting and grasped his head. 'Don't ask me again! Don't! I can't…. You know….'
'No… I mean… take me?' Angel lay down in the shower stall and pulled Spike over him. 'I'm sorry. I- I have no excuse. I'm just sorry.'
Spike blinked then sat back on his heels.
Angel's eyes widened. 'You don't want me? That's what the truth drug was about! You don't want me!'
Spike frowned. 'Nooo…. I want to take you to the bed and do it properly.'
Angel's body sagged with relief.
Spike opened his mouth, but before he could ask what Angel knew he was going to ask, Angel climbed with difficulty to his feet- deliberately making a great deal more of his pain than was necessary to distract Spike.
It worked. Still frowning slightly, Spike helped him to the bed. He braced over the wet figure. 'Are you sure…?'
Angel rose up and seized his face. With no hesitation, he copied Spike earlier and lifted his legs to Spike's shoulders.
He slid a hand down and held Spike, cupping the thick shaft that was soon to enter him. 'Fill me? I want to feel you inside me all day, reminding me of this.'
Spike smiled and nodded. 'This taking, I will do. Turn over.'
'No, I want….'
'Shhh. Trust me, Pet. It's easier for you, and this is gonna… take a while.'
Angel blinked in anticipation but did as he was bid.
Spike pushed one of Angel's thighs up, exposing his hole. Very gently, he lay down on Angel's back, easing one arm under his head and the other around his chest, where his eager fingers sought out peaked, flushed nipples.
He was so hard that he didn't need hands to enter. He just tipped his hips forward, centred his cockhead to the perfect indentation, and pushed gently forward. Angel's body gave way to this penetration as easily as it would have done to a sharper, more lasting one had he been given it.
He arched slightly, and Spike arched with him. He sank down onto the bed, and Spike sank into his hot skin, melting into him.
Spike hardly seemed to move, but his cock lengthened and throbbed inside the warm, human body, creating delicious waves of pleasure that gently made Angel swell once more, hardness slowly returning over long, drawn-out hours of bliss.
Spike nuzzled into the back of Angel's neck, licking the slightly salty skin, biting playfully into its softness, making Angel arch and hiss in pleasure.
As the long hours passed, Spike just lay inside Angel, gently clenching and unclenching his buttocks, causing his cock to pulse and swell, filling the tight, human backside. At each swell, he rocked Angel against the sheets, bringing him inexorably back to full hardness, until at last, Angel groaned and put a hand down to play with himself. Only then did Spike ease back slightly and whisper, 'On your hands and knees- now.'
Angel nodded, and they rose together, letting out a sharp cries as they both realised how swollen and heavy they were. Spike's balls clenched high in their sac, hard and painful. Lost to the need, eyes closed, Angel began to fist his erection urgently.
Spike waited. He watched and sensed and heard, and timed it to perfection, hitting Angel's prostate at just the right moment to tip him over the edge into a place where he was all shudders and sound and release, and rich, intoxicating smell.
Smiling, Spike let himself flood Angel's body. For only the second time, he claimed this human, who was his anyway, but who had just needed this deep, penetrating reminder.
Angel put his face to the mattress and spread his legs slightly, taking in Spike's release, concentrating as its coolness welled inside his heat.
When Spike was done, they sank together with matching sighs of delight, still intimately joined, and lay as if both dead while the morning passed them by.
It was only a soft cough by the door that woke them.
'Angel? Would you like some lunch?'
The voice went away.
Sometime later, they heard more voices outside. Angel pointedly turned his face from the window and put a hand around, holding Spike on tightly.
After a few moments though, Spike felt him tense and grinned quietly to himself.
The tenseness became small clenching of muscles.
'Go pee, yeah?'
Angel cursed and rolled them. 'Turn me back, Spike. Please.'
They both chuckled at the change in Angel's tone, knowing that the worst was past once more.
Angel hobbled into the bathroom, still cursing. When he returned, Spike had rearranged the bed covers, and an enticing corner was folded down, waiting for him. With a grin, he slid in.
They turned until they were both lying on their sides, studying each other.
Spike caught Angel's hand and entwined their fingers, playing gently with the strong, human ones, teasing Angel.
He twitched up his eyebrow and then said, amused, 'You just know I'm gonna ask.'
Angel winced. 'It slipped out.'
'You genuinely don't remember?'
Spike didn't bother to reply, and Angel said in a slightly awed tone, 'Your friends have access to some powerful magic.'
Spike continued his silence, so with a sigh, Angel added, 'Jordan gave you a truth drug for your Christmas present. You drank it and told me… the truth, I guess.'
'Uh huh. And that was?'
Angel cupped him around the back of the neck. 'It doesn't matter. The truth is, I love you, and I'll do anything you want to make this work.'
'Okay…. And why can't I remember this fun episode in the Spike and Angel saga?'
'Angel and Spike.'
'Well, if it's a saga… I mean… it would be Angel and Spike.'
'And maybe focusing would be good about now.'
'Once the effects wore off, you forgot about saying those things.'
'Uh huh. And being given it?'
'This so-called wonder drug wipes out the memory of Jordan giving it to me, telling me all about it, me coming in here, me drinking it…?'
'Oh, I didn't think….'
'And gives me memories to fill the time that I supposedly can't remember?'
'Cus, Wassock, I have no… gaps….'
'Oh.' Angel frowned. Spike could almost hear the gears crunching. 'OH!'
'I think we've both just been had.' He suddenly heard what he'd said and rolled onto his back chuckling. 'He's SO gonna die slowly. Did you really not know? Fucking hell, Angel, one-hundred and fifty years and you couldn't tell?'
'Hey!' Angel rolled onto his back too, and was silent for some time, until venturing quietly, 'Was I the only one who didn't know how you felt?'
Spike turned his head on the pillow. 'Making a wild stab at what the little git might have told you…. I made sure you didn't know, Pet. I WANT you to have your sunshine. You can't live in the dark with me.'
'Yes, I can.'
Spike didn't bother to argue; he just pulled Angel into a tight hug. 'Stay in the dark with me today, then. That, I would like.'
Angel smiled shyly. 'I want to give you your present early, too.'
'Still good between us?'
Angel pouted. 'Yeah. You might not be talking to me again tomorrow.'
'You might be out getting drunk with Wesley.'
'You might be spending the night with Sam.' He saw Spike lick his lips in a small, nervous gesture and added sadly, 'I kinda worked it out. You weren't here; Jordan was… kinda leaves two missing persons.'
Spike's face crumpled slightly. 'I just needed….'
Spike grinned. 'I like being so easily forgiven- let's do it more often.'
Angel climbed out of bed and went to the closet. He extracted a flat object and handed it over.
Spike sat up and frowned. He turned it around in his hands. 'What's it covered in?'
'Sorry. I'm not very good at… wrapping. I've not had much practice. Last present I gave kinda stained the box.'
Spike grinned. 'Happy days.' He peeled off the abused paper and uncovered a framed picture. He jerked his head back and let out a slow breath of pleasure. 'Angel!'
Angel crawled back onto the bed next to him, and together, they inspected the first self-portrait he'd even been able to draw.
Spike could not believe how beautiful it was. It had captured Angel in all the doubts and uncertainties of his new human life, but underneath, somewhere in the expression, deep in the eyes, there still lurked what had once been: a demon.
Spike swallowed and licked his lips. 'Nothin' I say is gonna be thanks enough, so I'm not gonna say anything.'
Very pleased, Angel snuggled down closer and began to run his fingers over Spike's belly.
Spike smiled. 'You'll have to wait 'til tomorrow.'
Angel pouted. 'No fair.'
'How do you know I got you one?'
'Because you're too scared of me not to?'
Spike chuckled. 'There's almost too much truth in that to be entirely funny. Jesus, okay.'
He put his picture reverently down on the bed and went to his coat, fished in the pocket and extracted a parcel.
Angel huffed quietly. 'It's very… small.'
'Yeah, well, I don't love you all that much.' He tossed it over.
Angel opened it eagerly, then swallowed deeply and held up an achingly slim, delicate bracelet in the palm of his hand.
With a small frown, he held it up so he could see its inner surface. He read the inscription, then looked up at Spike through lowered lids.
Spike shrugged. 'It's how I feel about you: Love is not love….'
'… which alters when it alteration finds.' Angel finished for him, not taking his gaze off Spike.
They didn't need to specify which one of them would alter, or which would have his love tested when this inevitability occurred. Angel looked back down and slipped the bracelet onto his wrist. What had seemed slightly incongruous and delicate in the palm of his hand, now seemed only to emphasise the strength and masculinity of his wrist, the gold bringing out the tanned beauty of his skin.
Spike crawled back onto the bed and held Angel's wrist lightly. Angel pulled it away to turn and twist it to the light, admiring himself. Spike smiled fondly, loving the pleasure he could see in Angel's expression.
'I'm never going to take it off, Spike. Ever.'
He lay down in a position where he could see it, and moved the picture so Spike could lie next to him. If it occurred to him as he glanced at the face on the canvas that he'd captured a fleeting moment, which even now, time had snatched from him, he didn't mention it. Spike's love for him would not alter when he inevitably did. He had that promise now - elegant, beautiful, and timeless - on his wrist.
He felt something welling up inside him, and almost choked on the huge lie that rose like gore in his throat. Suddenly, he reached out and turned the portrait over so he could no longer see it. A pain-filled whisper just reached Spike's ears, 'Turn me back, Baby; please, just turn me back….'
Spike bit his lip, his heart bleeding for Angel. He rolled out of the bed, snatched up his jeans, and strode from the room before the temptation to keep Angel forever his, forever beautiful, was too great for even his preternatural strength to resist.
to chapter 4
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